£3.4million classroom block built to cope with demand for school places

The �3.4million extension at South Hill Primary School in Hemel Hempstead
The �3.4million extension at South Hill Primary School in Hemel Hempstead

A £3.4million classroom extension will allow a Hemel Hempstead primary school to eventually take on nearly twice as many pupils.

The futuristic-looking two-storey building at South Hill Primary School is part of Herts County Council’s plans to expand schools in a bid to cope with the increasing demand for school places across the county.

The building on the school site in Heath Lane contains eight classrooms, which will house pupils from Years 3 to 6, and is now ‘fit for purpose’ with brand new furniture and equipment.

The IT facilities have been upgraded and the site has seen better disabled access installed.

The school, which currently has 300 pupils on roll, will be able to admit another 120 thanks to the new build.

Headteacher Sarah Bourn said: “We’re very excited about the new building and all the opportunities it will bring the current pupils, as well as future generations.”

David Williams, Herts County Council’s cabinet member for enterprise, education and skills, said: “These classrooms will create the additional space needed to create a positive learning environment, one where young people can get the education they deserve.”

The school playground also got a revamp as part of the project, with new gym equipment, table tennis, a chess set, football goals, bird look-out tower, a netball court and a gazebo being installed – some of which was paid for by the PTA.

The changes have had a positive impact on the school’s travel plan, as a dedicated drop-off/pick-up area for those walking to and from school has been installed.

Headteacher Sarah Bourn said: “All children have road safety talks, bike ability training and scooter training, and as a result 75 per cent of our pupils walk to school.”